The End of the Sentence: Becoming Unstuck

I’ve hoped to write this post for a long time. Nearly six years, to be exact. Six years of hoping and waiting and praying and searching out answers. Answers for why: why my body wasn’t doing what it should do as a woman, why my cycle had gone missing, why I was stuck in this period of waiting. And how: how to get healthy, how to get my cycle back – as though it was off exploring the world somewhere, and it was my job to figure out how to bring that wanderer back home.

The name of this blog was born out of these years of waiting. “Waiting for the end of the sentence” referred both to waiting for my cycle to return and the more significant process of learning to wait on God during this period of time and recognize his work in my life. Everything I’ve written on this blog and my book Enough has passed through that filter of learning and observing. Instead of simply asking why and how, I’ve been asking what: What is God teaching me? What does he want me to share with others as a result of what I’ve learned?

In every experience – from dating to sleeping (or rather, not sleeping) – I’ve become keenly aware that God is speaking to me and moving in me. While there were times where I felt stuck, I wasn’t stagnant. And God was moving, working, bringing things back to life.

The lessons he’s taught me, the ways in which he’s been present with me, the love he’s revealed to me…that’s the point. That’s the period at the end of the sentence. That’s what I need to share.

While my cycle has returned – prodigal daughter that she was – I know this isn’t the end of the sentence for me. The waiting doesn’t stop here. No. This is simply a comma, a dash, and ellipse. An opportunity to pause, take a beat, breath, and thank God for the healing work he’s done over the last few years.

So, without further ado, here’s how – after six years of waiting – God has healed my body and is bringing things back into alignment.

It feels like a miracle. And it is. It’s a miracle that I didn’t stay stuck in a cycle of perfectionism. It’s a miracle of small steps and big changes that have led to life. It’s a miracle of grace. Continue reading

The Answer to All The “What If’s?”

Today on the blog, I’m sharing a bit about my history with anxiety. Read on for more, and join me in the process of moving from perfectionism to wholeness – from anxiety to rest – by signing up here to get updates about Enough.


 

What if I pass out, and we crash?

What if I have to pull off the side of the road and have Chelsea drive?

What if she thinks I’m totally crazy for feeling so anxious right now?

These questions – among others – came barreling down on me this Tuesday as I drove with a colleague to a marketing conference in Silicon Valley.

I don’t drive often. I gave my car to my sister back in 2010 when she moved to Missouri to marry her now-husband, and I moved to San Francisco where a car is more of an inconvenience than anything else.

So, it was natural that I should feel a little uneasy driving this week. But my anxious thoughts weren’t really about the mechanics of driving. I’d rented a 2015 Volkswagen Golf – a top safety pick, since that’s the way I make decisions – for the day. The car was great, albeit a little zippy for my cautious taste, but mostly easy to maneuver.

In my mind, I knew this was a good car, and I knew I could drive it just fine. But then the “what if’s” began to take over my rational thoughts.

You might think it strange that I was so intensely worried about passing out while driving. That the fear of passing out started to send me in a panic attack on the 101 – face numb from my shallow breathing, hands white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. I’ll explain why. Continue reading

Forgive…But Don’t Forget?

Friends, I’m writing a book on what I’ve learned while recovering from perfectionism. Subscribe here for sneak peeks and insider updates I only share over email. No spam. Just love.


What’s the difference between holding a grudge and being cautious in your interactions with someone who’s hurt you? Can you forgive someone but still maintain distance from them in the future? Is it possible to actually wipe the slate clean?

Conversations with my gentleman friend often progress from simple updates about our days to deep, thoughtful questions such as these. It’s one of the things I appreciate most about our relationship – we don’t shy away from the hard topics, and we’re genuinely interested in learning from each other.

Let GoBut our conversation about forgiveness the other night left me scratching my head. As I ruminated on these questions throughout the next day, I found myself wondering if there were people in my life that I hadn’t truly forgiven. Had I honestly let go of the wrongs they’d done toward me? Or was I still clinging to those injustices out of a need to justify my cold shoulder toward them? Was it okay to avoid interaction with them, or was that unloving?

Questions like these require soul searching and truth seeking, so I turned to the only solid truths I know: the Word and words. That is to say, I turned to God, and I sought to better understand the meaning behind the words I was tossing around. What is a grudge? What is forgiveness really? What does the Bible have to say about self-defense?

My searching brought me to these five insights. Continue reading

Let the Editing Begin: Fear, Courage, and Crappy First Drafts

I’m sharing my story about recovering from a life of performance and perfectionism. Get a sneak peek here! 


Laundry, friends, work, fear, sunshine, dirty dishes. There are a lot of reasons not to write. And they often come to the forefront of my mind when I sit down at my computer.

journal_coffeeMost of the time, the joy of writing wins out – fighting back all the other commitments with the promise of increased personal clarity and the possibility that someone might be encouraged by what I feel compelled to share.

Editing, however, does not carry that same joy. Editing is the process of cutting, stripping away, refining. Editing terrifies me.

Now that I’ve finished the first draft of my book, I feel so stuck. I know I should feel wish I felt more excited about that accomplishment. Instead, I’m scared of what’s ahead. I’m afraid that when I go back to what I wrote in June or July, I’ll think it’s complete crap. Continue reading

7 Things I Learned from Online Dating

I’m writing a book about recovering from a life of performance and perfectionism. Subscribe here to get early access! 

Earlier this year, I published a piece called Everything I Know About Dating, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Clearly, lots of people are interested in the topic of love and relationships, and I completely understand why! Dating is an often-mysterious experience full of potential for mishaps and misadventures as well as fun and finding someone you truly enjoy.

OnlineSo how do you navigate the rocky terrain of dating while enjoying the process and avoiding the pitfalls?

Each one of my relationships has taught me to examine the three spheres of dating and connection:

  1. How I connect with myself
  2. How I connect with someone else
  3. And (assuming we’re well-matched) how we stay connected to God throughout the dating process

Continue reading

Do the Next Thing: Thoughts on Writing, Running, and Life

As some of you know, I’m writing a book about recovering from a life of performance and perfectionism. Subscribe here to get early access! 

Writing is a lot like running. The hardest part is often simply getting started. Before I go for a run, I sometimes pause and try to rationalize my way out of it.

Woman above the cityDo I really want to go out in the fog? Do I really want to get all sweaty? Do I really want to feel the burn in my legs and the cold in my lungs?

As I ask myself these questions, I simply do the next thing: I put on my workout clothes and lace up my shoes. I pull up the run tracker on my phone and pick my playlist (usually something poppy and upbeat to motivate me or worship music, since running is one of my favorite ways of communing with God). Before I know it, I’m out the door and on my way. Even my overly-analytical mind can’t compete with legs that are ready to run.

The process of writing is extremely similar. I love writing – just like I love running. I know it’s benefits, and I know I will love it once I start. But it’s not as romantic as it may seem. It’s not like locking yourself away in a cozy cabin or beautiful beach house, getting inspired, and letting the words pour out of you. It is an amazing, inspiring, transformative process. But like most life-altering pursuits, writing can be painful or just plain hard. It takes initiative, momentum, and a constant placing of one foot – or one word – in front of the next.

Since returning from my month-long sabbatical, keeping up the momentum of writing my book on recovering from perfectionism has certainly been difficult. The silence on this blog over the last couple weeks is evidence of that. But as my primary writing focus right now is on the book, I’m trying to prioritize that, and let the blogging come as it may. Continue reading

The Joys of Berry-Picking & Other Discoveries from My Week in Oregon

1. Front porches should be a thing everywhere.

I’ve been to several cities where front porches rule the day: Columbus, Charlotte, Portland. California – at least, the Bay Area – is seriously missing out.

I long for a good front porch – it seems like the perfect place to both relax and get some good alone time and also be available to spontaneous chats with friends and passersby.

I don’t know that everyone takes advantage of their front-yard space, but I’m telling you: if I had a front porch, I would be out there almost every night. I love sitting out with tea or a glass of wine, chatting with friends, and saying hi to the neighbors. If the Lord ever sees to bless me with a house with a front porch, I promise to put it to good use.

2. Church is everywhere God’s people are gathered. As my pastor in San Francisco has often said, “We’re the body gathered and scattered.”

While I completely believe in the importance of regular gatherings with other believers – for accountability, teaching, and inter-generational wisdom – I don’t think that church is limited to Sunday mornings.

I saw this truth play out over and over again during my week in Oregon. Whether we’re talking over coffee or during a long car ride, conversations with dear friends is one of the primary ways I connect with God. I love learning other people’s stories, asking hard questions about our struggles, and “spurring one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

There’s a reason God gave us each other; he knew we’d need each other to be a full and complete body – with all our vital limbs and organs – able to live out his love in the world. Continue reading

Leaving a Legacy of Love: Alonzo Richardson, 1917-2015

My grandfather was a truly amazing man and a masterful storyteller. I must get my love of stories from him, and I’m so grateful for the legacy he left during his 98 years on this earth.

Over the past couple weeks, I’d been preparing for what I would say at his memorial service yesterday. Thankfully, I had nearly 30 years of my own memories to reflect on, a treasure trove of memorabilia to inspire me, and so many stories.

Up until the very end, Grandpa refused to live anywhere aside from the home he and Grandma had lived in since 1960. “I’m going from here to heaven,” he would say. And he was right. Continue reading

Life on the Inside: Finding the Connection We Crave

Woman in rainHave you ever felt like you were on the outside of a group looking in? Whether you were just on the sidelines of a party or trying hard to integrate with a new group of friends, it’s easy to feel like everyone else shares a secret that you don’t know. Or like they speak a language you don’t understand.

That’s the way I felt frequently throughout my growing up years. A little shy, a little uncertain, I didn’t fit in with the louder, funnier girls with their fashionable Gap jeans and pristine white Keds. I couldn’t keep up with their jokes and their knowledge of pop culture. I didn’t know who JTT was, I didn’t watch Friends, and I didn’t listen to No Doubt – unless I snuck in some secret CD time at a friend’s house. It was hard to fit in with the “in” crowd.

While I wasn’t often the center of attention, and I didn’t have an expansive circle of friends, I had a few very good ones. And to be honest, that suited me then and still suits me now. But as an impressionable, vulnerable girl, the fear of being left on the outside shaped me.

I learned to “armor up” and earn affection by making myself who I thought people wanted me to be – the good girl that my parents would praise, the perfect student that teachers loved, the Sunday school kid with all the right answers.

That “good girl” image sustained me through high school. I built my life upon it. I found my identity in it. It helped me feel like I fit in somewhere. But I soon found a more powerful draw than being admired for being good – the thrill of guys’ attention. Continue reading